The 25 best colleges in the US that are actually worth the cost of tuition

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There's no way around it: Getting a college degree is expensive. But in many industries, having (at minimum) a Bachelor's degree is mandatory.

As tuition prices continue to soar - right alongside the national student-loan debt burden - many prospective college students and parents alike are wondering whether pursuing higher education is really worth the cost in the end.

In fact, as Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported, an INSIDER and Morning Consult survey showed that nearly half of indebted millennials think college wasn't worth taking out loans.

Read more: 10 mind-blowing facts that show just how dire the student-loan crisis in America is

While there's no shortage of rankings that attempt to determine the "best" college by a variety of metrics, Money's 2019 ranking of the Best Colleges in America puts a particular focus on value to determine which institutions are most worth their price.

Money looked at data collected and analyzed by American Institutes for Research (AIR) researcher Dr. Audrey Peek, research associate Deaweh Benson, and research assistant Merykokeb Belay, according to their breakdown of the ranking methodology. Using the 19,000 data points collected in the analysis, Money's editorial staff made the final ranking decisions, considering 26 factors across categories including quality of education, affordability, and career earnings reported by alumni. The ranking factored in average aid amounts in determining the approximate "net" cost of tuition.

Read on to see which schools give graduates the most bang for their buck, according to Money, ranked in increasing order of value.

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25. Massachusetts Maritime Academy — Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

25. Massachusetts Maritime Academy — Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $15,500

Percentage of students who receive grants: 48%

Average student-loan debt: $26,930

Early career earnings: $67,200

Source: Money

24. Rice University — Houston, Texas

24. Rice University — Houston, Texas

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $25,800

Percentage of students who receive grants: 61%

Average student-loan debt: $11,200

Early career earnings: $69,200

Source: Money

T23. University of Washington-Seattle Campus — Seattle, Washington

T23. University of Washington-Seattle Campus — Seattle, Washington

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $10,100

Percentage of students who receive grants: 44%

Average student-loan debt: $15,000

Early career earnings: $59,900

Source: Money

T23. California State University-Fullerton — Fullerton, California

T23. California State University-Fullerton — Fullerton, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $9,100

Percentage of students who receive grants: 65%

Average student-loan debt: $14,800

Early career earnings: $49,400

Source: Money

21. University of Florida — Gainesville, Florida

21. University of Florida — Gainesville, Florida

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $16,300

Percentage of students who receive grants: 83%

Average student-loan debt: $16,200

Early career earnings: $54,200

Source: Money

20. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Champaign, Illinois

20. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Champaign, Illinois

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,800

Percentage of students who receive grants: 51%

Average student-loan debt: $20,130

Early career earnings: $61,000

Source: Money

19. Duke University — Durham, North Carolina

19. Duke University — Durham, North Carolina

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $23,500

Percentage of students who receive grants: 53%

Average student-loan debt: $9,200

Early career earnings: $68,700

Source: Money

18. Texas A & M University-College Station — College Station, Texas

18. Texas A & M University-College Station — College Station, Texas

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $20,900

Percentage of students who receive grants: 54%

Average student-loan debt: $18,520

Early career earnings: $59,000

Source: Money

17. Yale University — New Haven, Connecticut

17. Yale University — New Haven, Connecticut

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $19,300

Percentage of students who receive grants: 52%

Average student-loan debt: $12,000

Early career earnings: $68,300

Source: Money

16. California Institute of Technology — Pasadena, California

16. California Institute of Technology — Pasadena, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $26,100

Percentage of students who receive grants: 61%

Average student-loan debt: $12,180

Early career earnings: $83,400

Source: Money

15. Vanderbilt University — Nashville, Tennessee

15. Vanderbilt University — Nashville, Tennessee

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $24,900

Percentage of students who receive grants: 65%

Average student-loan debt: $14,500

Early career earnings: $63,800

Source: Money

14. Harvard University — Cambridge, Massachusetts

14. Harvard University — Cambridge, Massachusetts

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $18,200

Percentage of students who receive grants: 43%

Average student-loan debt: $6,100

Early career earnings: $72,600

Source: Money

13. California State University-Long Beach — Long Beach, California

13. California State University-Long Beach — Long Beach, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $10,300

Percentage of students who receive grants: 70%

Average student-loan debt: $15,000

Early career earnings: $51,100

Source: Money

12. University of California-Riverside — Riverside, California

12. University of California-Riverside — Riverside, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $13,200

Percentage of students who receive grants: 81%

Average student-loan debt: $19,000

Early career earnings: $54,000

Source: Money

11. University of California-Berkeley — Berkeley, California

11. University of California-Berkeley — Berkeley, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $19,400

Percentage of students who receive grants: 57%

Average student-loan debt: $13,200

Early career earnings: $68,300

Source: Money

10. University of Virginia — Charlottesville, Virginia

10. University of Virginia — Charlottesville, Virginia

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,700

Percentage of students who receive grants: 42%

Average student-loan debt: $19,000

Early career earnings: $62,300

Source: Money

9. University of California-San Diego — San Diego, California

9. University of California-San Diego — San Diego, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $15,600

Percentage of students who receive grants: 58%

Average student-loan debt: $17,500

Early career earnings: $61,300

Source: Money

8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor — Ann Arbor, Michigan

8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor — Ann Arbor, Michigan

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,500

Percentage of students who receive grants: 52%

Average student-loan debt: $19,150

Early career earnings: $62,000

Source: Money

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, Massachusetts

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, Massachusetts

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $23,700

Percentage of students who receive grants: 68%

Average student-loan debt: $17,130

Early career earnings: $83,600

Source: Money

6. Stanford University — Stanford, California

6. Stanford University — Stanford, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,700

Percentage of students who receive grants: 60%

Average student-loan debt: $11,450

Early career earnings: $76,500

Source: Money

5. University of California-Davis — Davis, California

5. University of California-Davis — Davis, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,600

Percentage of students who receive grants: 67%

Average student-loan debt: $14,000

Early career earnings: $59,400

Source: Money

4. University of California-Los Angeles — Los Angeles, California

4. University of California-Los Angeles — Los Angeles, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $15,800

Percentage of students who receive grants: 59%

Average student-loan debt: $15,000

Early career earnings: $60,000

Source: Money

3. Princeton University — Princeton, New Jersey

3. Princeton University — Princeton, New Jersey

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $17,400

Percentage of students who receive grants: 58%

Average student-loan debt: $7,500

Early career earnings: $72,700

Source: Money

2. CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College — New York, New York

2. CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College — New York, New York

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $4,900

Percentage of students who receive grants: 55%

Average student-loan debt: $10,720

Early career earnings: $57,100

Source: Money

1. University of California-Irvine — Irvine, California

1. University of California-Irvine — Irvine, California

Estimated 2019-20 tuition, less average aid: $14,900

Percentage of students who receive grants: 66%

Average student-loan debt: $16,500

Early career earnings: $57,700

Source: Money

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